Hyderabad: TRS Chief KCR during his election campaign for 2014 General elections had promised 12% reservation quota for Muslims. Subsequently, the TRS government had passed reservation bill in Telangana legislative assembly and sent it to the Centre.
But, is it possible that Centre will allow 12% quota for Muslims?
If the 12% reservation for Muslims is granted, it will breach the 50% reservation limit set by the Supreme Court. The Supreme Court, in its 1992 judgement (Indira Sawhney vs Union of India) stated that the total reservations should not exceed 50%.
According to the 2011 census, Muslims in Telangana number 44.64 lakh – 12.7% of the total population.
According to the news reported in News Minute, to ensure that no Court can invalidate their proposal for reservations, the TRS can go in the Tamil Nadu way which, despite the Supreme Court order, has over 50% reservations in educational institutions. They had done it in 1994 by getting the Central government to amend Schedule 9 of the Constitution.
Schedule 9 is a list of laws that state governments have brought in that are exempt from any judicial review – which means that Tamil Nadu’s 69% quota for backward classes cannot be challenged by anyone in any court of law in India.
According to an article published in scroll.in, the Tamil Nadu brought its reservation law into the 9th schedule by 76th constitutional amendment. By inserting into 9th schedule, its reservation law got protected from judicial scrutiny. However, the TN law too is before the Supreme Court and a final verdict on its legality is awaited.
But the problem for TRS government is that unlike in 1994, the Current government at the Centre is unlikely to approve the decision to provide 12% reservation for Muslims.
Dr K Laxman, Telangana BJP President said, “Chief Minister KCR’s statement that they would achieve 12% reservation for Muslims by moving heaven and earth shows he does not have respect for Constitution and courts…He is trying to cheat Muslims in the state by promising the impossible. There are previous judgments from courts that shot down similar proposals. This is nothing but a move to garner votes from the minority community for the TRS.”
Meanwhile, Siasat daily News Editor Mr. Amir Ali Khan has been holding public meetings across the districts of Telangana to pressurize KCR government in support of 12% reservation for Muslims.
Unless KCR manages to convince the Centre to amend Schedule 9 of the constitution, it is highly unlikely that Muslims of Telangana will get 12% reservation in education and jobs in which their representation is inadequate.
On other side, many other Muslims demand for increased allocation of budget for Socio-economic development of Muslims so that enrollment rate of Muslim students in schools, especially girls, increases and also skill development of Muslim youth to obtain gainful livelihood opportunities.